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Caterina Cornaro: Last Queen of Cyprus | Four Short Talks and a Play

An online event under the MA Programme “Greek Civilization” at the University of Nicosia

The proposed online event focuses on Caterina Cornaro (1454-1510), who was the last queen of Cyprus. Caterina and her Renaissance court at Asolo have become the stuff of legend and inspired a large number of works of art, such as paintings by grand masters, dramatic plays, novels, poems and well-known operas.

The event consists of four short talks presenting aspects of the personality, the historical and cultural background of Cornaro and the impact she had on the arts. A screening of a theatrical production will follow, titled: Caterina: Last Queen of Cyprus (text by Anthie Zachariadou, directed by Andreas Araouzos).


  • Four short talks by Dr Marios Hatzopoulos, Dr Marina Rodosthenous-Balafa, Dr Nikos Pegioudis and Dr Avra Xepapadakou, lecturers of the Master in Greek Civilization at the University of Nicosia.
  • Screening of the theatrical production with an introductory presentation by the director Andreas Araouzos (postgraduate student of the MA programme) and the performer Christina Marouchou.

Short Talks: Abstracts

Dr Marios Hatzopoulos will introduce “the Last Queen of Cyprus”: Daughter to Venice’s most noble family, royal consort to the King of Cyprus, mother of an ill-fated prince and, finally, incumbent monarch of Cyprus before the island passed under the sway of Venice, Caterina Cornaro led a life full of surprise and wonder. This short presentation will retrace the steps of her fascinating life.

Dr Marina Rodosthenous-Balafa will present some Cypriot petrarchistic poetic samples, which have direct or indirect connections with Cornaros’s court in Asolo, which was famous for its literary and artistic distinction.

Dr Nikos Pegioudis will reflect on the appeal of Cornaro’s personality to Western painters from the late 15th-early 16th century up to the 19th century. He will discuss some of her most important or peculiar portraits painted by such Masters as Giovanni Bellini, Giorgione, and Titian or by later painters such as Hans Makart.

Dr Avra Xepapadakou in her talk “Caterina at the Opera” will discuss the presence of this famous historical figure on the operatic stage with special focus on the works by renowned composers such as Fromental Halévy and Gaetano Donizetti.

Language of the event: English

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